Reports: NFL, DirecTV near new Sunday Ticket deal Posted by Michael David Smith on December 12, 2013, 8:35 PM EST
The longstanding agreement that gives DirecTV exclusive access to the Sunday Ticket package that gives NFL fans the ability to watch every game expires after next season. But the two sides have apparently come to terms on a new deal.
Multiple reports on Thursday say the league and the satellite TV provider have agreed to keep Sunday Ticket on DirecTV for years to come.
DirecTV, which pays about $1 billion a year to the NFL for exclusive access to Sunday Ticket, expects to keep that exclusive access going forward.
“We’ve had very, very constructive conversations with the NFL, but it’s complex,” DirecTV CEO Michael White told Variety. “I’m very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”
There had been talk that the NFL might open up the Sunday Ticket package to cable companies, or that an Internet distributor like Google’s YouTube could bid on the contract. But DirecTV seems set to keep the competitors at bay and hold onto exclusive access to Sunday Ticket.
A new deal would need to be approved by DirecTV’s board of directors and the NFL’s owners, but this is a deal that has made both sides a lot of money, and now seems likely to keep making both sides a lot of money for many more years.
Re: Reports: NFL, DirecTV near new Sunday Ticket deal
Or maybe not...
NFL denies it has reached new agreement with DirecTV Posted by Michael David Smith on December 13, 2013, 10:18 AM EST
Despite multiple reports on Thursday saying the NFL and DirecTV have reached a new agreement to keep the exclusive Sunday Ticket package on satellite television, the league says no deal has been reached.
“We do not have an agreement. Any speculation or reports to the contrary are not accurate,” NFL Media Group VP/Communications Alex Riethmiller told Sports Business Daily.
An agreement may not be done, but DirecTV’s CEO declared himself “very optimistic” that a deal will get done to keep Sunday Ticket exclusively on DirecTV. So it sounds like DirecTV is prepared to spend whatever it will take to keep the NFL’s owners happy. If DirecTV can’t come to terms with the NFL on a new deal, the NFL could open it up to cable companies, or to Internet distributors like YouTube or Netflix.
Under the current deal, which extends through the end of the 2014 season, DirecTV pays the NFL about $1 billion a year.